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Closing the loop: long-term sustainability strategies for textile manufacturers

July 1, 2017

Textile manufacturers are deploying sustainability strategies and forming partnerships to green up products and processes, helping manufacturers meet the requirements of even the most eco-concerned customers—and getting a good start on the circular economy of the future. For most manufacturers, eco-friendly, sustainable products are becoming a competitive necessity. And as concern over environmental issues has …

Recycling and repurposing used fabrics and scraps

About five years ago, Scott Massey, president of Awning Cleaning Industries/APCO Products (and a member of IFAI’s board of directors), decided to expand his business reach in an earth-friendly way. His company has always had an environmental bent, since well-maintained fabrics stay out of landfills longer. Still, even these fabrics eventually need replacing, resulting in …

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Making a mark

May 1, 2017

As the interest in and use of digital textile printing expands, wide-format printers have become essential players, opening up new and profitable opportunities for specialty fabricators. Wide-format digital printing is expanding exponentially, spurred by advancements in printer, ink and fabric technology. Deployed for all manner of products—apparel, décor, banners, murals, signage, upholstery, wallpaper, vehicle wraps …

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Game on

March 1, 2017

A competitive mind-set is what manufacturers of high-tech fabrics and fabric products say is powering demand for their high-performance solutions.  When you think about high-tech sports and recreation products designed to help athletes hone the competitive edge, equipment rather than fabric likely springs to mind first, but this reaction is behind the times—fabrics have evolved to …

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From old to new: a glimpse into recycling technology

January 4, 2017

Recycling discarded materials into usable other things requires considerable effort and investment, but more companies are doing just that. Take Serge Ferrari North America, a Pompano Beach, Fla.-based manufacturer of flexible composite membranes used globally by numerous markets. In 1996, the company began exploring the idea of recycling its materials for the print and tent …

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Developing friendlier fabrics

January 1, 2017

As sustainability is increasingly important to growing numbers of consumers, fabric manufacturers are broadening their eco-friendly offerings, giving specialty fabricators plenty of green options. As a famous frog once lamented, it’s not easy being green. The same can be said for companies wanting to “green” up their product offerings and manufacturing processes, since doing so …

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Room to grow

November 1, 2016

As Mother Nature persists in her fickle and sometimes destructive ways, manufacturers of agricultural fabrics and fabric products report strong and growing demand in many areas. The agricultural arena isn’t for the faint of heart; just ask anyone who earns a living by keeping us supplied with food. Too many things can go wrong—too much …

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Price and value in the agricultural markets

October 11, 2016

Profit margins are tight for a lot of industries, but this is especially true in the agricultural arena, where profits can be wiped out—in some cases virtually overnight—by events beyond the control of growers and producers. Consequently, pricing has become a huge concern for all involved, say manufacturers of fabric agricultural products designed to mitigate …

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Getting the word out about fabric graphics

August 1, 2016

Fabric graphics have become a marketing and branding essential. As they go outside to play, the medium is definitely part of the message. Fabric graphics are a perfect vehicle for our branding-obsessed culture, providing the ability to transmit messages in fun, colorful, impactful and attention-getting ways. Fabrics and fabric graphics are at home everywhere indoors, …

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To the rescue

May 1, 2016

More consumers are seeking protection from the sun, heat, bugs and high energy bills, and shading system manufacturers are surrounding the market, indoors and out. The U.S. market is looking rather attractive these days to manufacturers of shade systems. For a variety of reasons—energy conservation, protection from the elements and insects, heat and glare reduction—screens, …

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Keep moving

January 1, 2016

For most businesses, change is an essential part of long-term success. Ongoing innovation, in products, processes, service and value, is the best way to beat the competition. Innovation. It’s the essential ingredient in any company’s ability to thrive and stay viable for the long haul. Innovative companies are restless explorers, constantly searching for and testing …

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Tapping into innovation

December 14, 2015

Innovation doesn’t always come easily, but creating a culture that fosters creativity can improve the process (and results) of continuous improvement. Every company knows that innovation is vital, but knowing how to innovate is a different matter. Why are some companies able to launch one new idea or product after the next while others stagnate? …

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Just right

September 2, 2015

With the right guidelines and strategies, calculating the correct square footage for a tented event can be more science than art. Accurately calculating the amount of space a tented event requires is a critical component of the service that tent and event professionals provide. A too-small structure will result in an overcrowded event, impeding flow …

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Powering up

September 1, 2015

The demand for inflatables used for shelters, rescue and training is strong and growing, as new applications for a well-known but developing technology attract more attention worldwide. Air is a powerful force. Properly harnessed, it can be completely transformed, becoming an integral player in products that serve all manner of purposes, from strictly fun to …

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A healthy living

Inflatable products need not be oversized to have a big impact; small can be mighty, especially when it comes to inflatables designed to provide relief on an individual basis, such as those popping up in wellness centers, hospitals, nursing homes and even on clothing racks and in closets. Here’s a quick overview of three companies …

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Safeguarding ideas

May 1, 2015

Clients may wander to other companies, but your ideas don’t need to go with them. It’s an occupational hazard for event planners and tent rental businesses. You spend no small amount of usually unbillable time developing an event design for a prospective client, only to have that person wander away—your ideas in hand—to a different …

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Shade sales: Just add water

March 1, 2015

The resurgence in boating and the concern over sun safety have been a boon for marine fabricators offering products that protect and beautify without spoiling the fun, or the view. People are taking to the water in record numbers, encouraged in part by plummeting gas prices. According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, approximately 89 …